Just A Little Prick

Yes, that is my leg - with pins in it.

So as you know, I’ve been training my butt off in order to be as prepared as I can be for the Ottawa Marathon at the end of the month.

As an aside – can you believe the marathon is only 18 days away? Gah.  It still makes me a little throw-uppy to think about it.

Anyway, as part of my training, I am required to run a lot.  Run.  Run.  Run.  And when that is done, I run some more.  True story.  Of course, that isn’t all.  I have to balance my running with healthy eating (lemon poppy-seed cake and beer are healthy, right?), stretch as much as I can (and it never seems to be enough), and get a full nights sleep (5.5 hours is a full night, right?).  Clearly, I’m on track to success.  Ha.  Riiiiight.

Given all of the running and the fact that I seem to never be able to stretch enough, my IT band has taken some abuse.  As have my knees, hips and back.  But mainly the IT band is the problem child of my body.  Once it tightens up, everything else falls apart.  Of course, it started to tighten up a few weeks ago, during a 25k run.  The problem was that I stopped running to get some food, and failed to warm up my suddenly cool muscles before restarting my run.  And that dear readers is dumb on a level that I can’t even begin to describe.

The result – everything tightened up.  My hips and knees were screaming, and I had to limp-walk-run the final few kilometers.

Thankfully, I am fortunate enough to know some amazing people.  Specifically, my massage therapist Patrick, and my chiropractor Marco.

Yes, one pin goes into my butt - er - my hip flexor.

Since that time, I’ve made sure to schedule 1 massage, 1 chiropractic appointment, and 1 acupuncture appointment a week.  And it has done wonders.  This weekend I managed to run 32.37 km without any significant pain (crazy, I know).  Was I tired?  Hell ya.  But I was tired without bad pain.  You know – those pains that scream to you that you’ve just done something really bad to your body.

Anyway, today I finally remembered to get some photographic evidence of my acupuncture treatment (for your viewing pleasure).  For those of you that might be afraid of needles, it’s really not bad at all.  It doesn’t hurt, and the end result is awesomeness wrapped in pure amazing.

Oh, and did you notice that red clamp attached to the needle in the picture?  Ya, that’s one end of a wire that connects my muscles to an electric current.  There is another clamp attached to the pin that is in my leg.  The red one pictured is attached to the needle in my butt (er, hip flexor).  That’s right, my acupuncture treatment is electric!  I think it’s supposed to create some sort of uber healing.  Honestly, I have no idea what it does (technically speaking).  I do know that it feels great and it works wonders.  You can see the effect of the electricity in the YouTube clip below.

Overall, the combination of stretching, yoga, massage, acupuncture and chiropractic works magic on the body.  For any of you that work out on a regular basis, I highly recommend doing any or all of these things.  Your body will thank you.  And it may just improve your performance too.



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11 Comments Add yours

  1. Kat says:

    What about the hot baths in epsom salt? It would be a nice treat for both you and your tired muscles. I suggest after your marathon, that you quite running. You might run yourself right into some unreversible damage in your joints and we wouldn’t want that. I hear arthritis sucks, too! 🙂

    1. dangillis says:

      Oh ya, I forgot about the hot bath with epsom salt. I do that too. Not all that frequently, but often enough.

      If the marathon goes well, I’m going to do one on October as well. And I also have my sights set on a 50k. Of course, first and foremost – another yoga challenge, and long distance biking 🙂

  2. Beth says:

    I do massage and chiro, but not nearly often enough. Seriously, how do you find the time to do all those appointments, plus all the running and the yoga and, you know, your job? I’m having trouble just keeping up with my half marathon training and a massage every two weeks! (Although I supposed it’s hockey (playing and watching Canucks playoffs) and other such socializing that I’m allowing to get in the way!

    And I haven’t tried acupuncture yet, but I’ve always wanted to.

    1. dangillis says:

      Ah – chiro/acupuncture is on campus – very convenient. Massage happens because my massage therapist is the best ever. He sees me on Sunday – his day off. He lives about a 15 minute walk from me, so I just saunter over to his place, get all massaged up, then walk home. I’m sure my walk home is about 20 to 25 minutes though, because I’m uber relaxed 🙂

  3. Rick says:

    I’m also not sure where you find the time, but you sure seem to be making it work! The marathon is so soon… you got this! Acupuncture looks funny.

    1. dangillis says:

      You look funny. ZING!

      Having a friend that does massage helps. And being on campus – that saves a lot of time. Also, don’t forget that I don’t sleep that much.

      Finally, ZING!

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